The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | Book Talk

RATING: The epitome of summer!

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If you haven’t read The Unexpected everything  check out MY REVIEW first.

After you’ve finished reading come back and join the discussion!



Books can make you feel a wide range of emotions. And The Unexpected Everything made me feel all the fun feels. No joke this book is the epitome of summer. If summer could somehow be contained in a single book, it would be The Unexpected Everything. I adored reading this book, and I can’t wait to talk to y’all about it! Let’s dive in…

As I mentioned in my review, the RELATIONSHIPS were everything in this book. The father-daughter. The friends. The 4 besties. The boyfriend. I loved it all. And I wanted more! (Honestly I would read a book about all of them just hanging out.)

We start off the book learning that Andie’s father is in the middle of a huge political scandal. There was a misuse of funds, and her father decides to take a leave of absence from Congress during the investigation. We’re immediately shown the obvious distance between Andie and her father through their awkward interactions and the unfamiliarity surrounding the two. Also we’re introduced to Andie’s group of friends right in the beginning via text messages. (Of course Toby is already using emojis) I loved reading the girls banter through their texts!

Let’s do a quick intro of the girls… Palmer, Bri, and Toby. Palmer’s the more carefree and fun one who is dating Tom, Toby was overly dramatic and boy crazy, and Bri was the funny film geek. I felt like I could’ve been besties with Palmer. She seemed like a great friend and a lot of fun. And Bri & Toby were an entertaining duo who were always attached to the hip.

It felt very high school when Andie’s friends snuck her out of her house by hiding her under a blanket to take her to a party. And, even though I just graduated, it still made me feel nostalgic (and a little old too). At this party, we learn that Andie has a problem with commitment. She seems to almost always have a boyfriend, but they usually don’t last longer than 3 weeks. Dang girl! We’re also introduced to Topher, who was her first kiss and on and off again hook up. We didn’t really get much out of his character, but if things had gone another way I totally could have seen them ending up together. (But glad they didn’t… because well CLARK!)

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July 2016 Wrap Up

monthly wrap up


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events in july


  1. BROWN LAX CAMP… I attended a lacrosse camp at Brown in the beginning of July, and it made me so excited for the next four years! I love all the girls in my commit class, and the girls I met at camp were so sweet and fun.
  2. 7/11… Free slurpees 🙂
  3. FRIENDS… I’ve been trying to squeeze in as much time as possible with my friends before we all leave for college. I still have a month till I leave, but most of my friends have only a couple weeks before they’re gone. We’ve had pool parties, homemade fam dinners, and lots of movie nights. It’s been fun hanging out with all of them, and I’m going to miss them so much!
  4. NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY… Pretty self explanatory. Who doesn’t love ice cream?!?!
  5. BALTIMORE LAX TRIP… I had a lacrosse tournament in Baltimore, which was fun but burning hot. Another plus side was the awesome foodcrabs & baltimore bomb pie!
  6. BIRTHDAY MONTH… July was my birthday month! I can’t believe I’m 19 now. I don’t feel like I’m any closer to being an adult, and I have no idea how I’m going to survive college. It’s weird that I’m officially in my last year as a teenager.

july reading list

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July wasn’t my best reading month… But I did do a lot of rereading. It was nice to revisit some of my old favorite books, and due to my bad memory it was almost like reading the book again for the first time. I’m a little disappointed in how little I read in July, but I’m going to work on making more time for reading in August!

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | Book Review

 RATING: the epitome of summer! (5/5) // AMAZON

PAGES: 519 PAGES | PUBLISHER: simon & schuster



Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

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Cover ThoughtsThis cover is so fun and just screams summer. If the vibrant colors and happy dogs aren’t summery enough for you, then the ice cream truck will for sure do the trick. I feel like this cover is just a ray of sunshine on my shelf. Plus I always end up craving ice cream after looking at it, which can never a bad thing.

Morgan Matson has done it again. I’ve been loving contemporaries recently, and The Unexpected Everything is the perfect summer read! It has an adorable romance, an entertaining group of friends, a sweet on the mend father-daughter relationship, cute dogs, and an epic scavenger hunt. What more could you ask for in a book?

Andie has the perfect summer planned. She’s going to John Hopkins for a pre-med program, which will help boost her resume. Well that was the plan, until her father’s political scandal leads to her un-acceptance to her summer program, and she’s stuck without anything the summer before her senior year. Andie is in full out panic mode, but finds an intriguing yet vague flyer that ends up becoming her new summer job—dog walking—and results in a very eventful summer. (special s/o to Bertie)

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Summer Book Recommendations


I know summer is almost over, but I thought it’d still be fun to share my summer book recommendations. We still have about half of July and most of August! Plus summer time is perfect for catching up on reading and trying new books.

cute contemporaries (summer)

For me, summer screams contemporaries. I tend to lean towards fantasy, but during the summer I find myself drawn towards the contemporary titles instead. It might be the nostalgia that comes with summer vacation or the fun adventures or the swoony romances or the new experiences that make contemporaries so compelling in the summer. Maybe it’s the sunny weather that makes a person want to read something light and fun. I’m not quite sure, but summer has always been the perfect time for a cute contemporary! (Sidenote: I’m an idiot and misspelled Kasie’s name to Katie… Please forgive)

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sts copy

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Half Price Books was having a sale, so of course I had to stop by and see what books I could pick up. Even though I was there recently, I was still able to snag a few awesome finds. I can’t wait to read these books, and I love how all of them go together quite nicely. Such a happy accident!








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Zero Day by Jan Gangsei | Book Review

 RATING: Political thriller filled with suspense (3.5/5) // AMAZON

PAGES: 368 PAGES | PUBLISHER: Disney hyperion



Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the Oval Office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold…but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the administration who find her timely return suspicious.

When a national security advisor approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn’t know what to think. How could the girl he’s missed for all these years be a threat to the United States? Still, at the risk of having his own secrets exposed, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

He soon realizes that his old friend is much more than the traumatized victim of a political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission…but will she choose to complete it?

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Cover Thoughts I bought the ebook copy of Zero Day, so I haven’t seen the cover in person. At first glance, the cover doesn’t seem to have much going on, but when I took a closer look I was surprised by the detail. The background seems to be some sort of code with random phrases, like “DON’T TELL” and “THEY’RE WATCHING,” which is super creepy and goes along perfectly with the computer hacking in this book. And I like the contrast of the American flag lettering against the dark background.

Ever since I started watching the TV show Scandal, I’ve been drawn to political thrillers, so I was beyond excited after reading the premise of Zero Day. It quickly shot up to the top of my 2016 Debut Novels list, and I found myself with a great read full of lots of unexpected twists and turns.

Addie Webster was kidnapped at a young age from her family, but she resurfaces 8 years later to find her father is the president of the United States. Around the same time, a hacker terrorist group becomes bolder with each attack. The stakes are high for all involved, and nothing is what it seems.

There are multiple POVs in Zero Day, but the main ones are Addie and Darrow. I liked Addie, and her unreliability made the book even more startling. If I couldn’t even trust the MC, then what on earth was actually going on? She seemed to be suffering from Stockholm syndrome, and it was interesting to read about Addie struggling to adjust to her new life. I also liked to use the few flashbacks we were given to attempt to piece together what was going on in her mind.

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The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye | Book Review

 RATING: A GOOD Russian fantasy (3/5) // AMAZON

Pages: 416 pages | Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Format: ebook | Source: Bought Age Group: Young Adult


Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love… or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear… the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

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Cover ThoughtsAlthough I only got the ebook copy of The Crown’s Game, there is no denying that this cover is beautiful. It turns Russia’s historic palace into a crown, which nicely ties in the cover and plot. It’s simple yet very intricate.

A historical fantasy set in Russia and an ancient duel between enchanters and a possible romance between the unlikely competitors… Yes, I’m definitely interested. Although I had high expectations for this book, they were never fully met. That being said, I did enjoy The Crown’s Game, but it wasn’t the kind of book that I’d stay up till 3:00 am to finish.

While I found the plot intriguing, I was never completely sucked into the world of The Crown’s Game. The story is told in multiple POVs of mainly Vika and Nikolai. Vika is the enchantress who has an affinity with nature, Nikolai is the orphan boy who has trained all his life to become the imperial enchanter and is the best friend of the crown prince, and Pasha is the free-spirited heir to the throne. I really wanted to like these characters, but I didn’t feel fully invested in any of them. And that is a huge part of me in liking a book. I need to feel connected to the characters, but I felt like there was some distance between myself and the characters while reading.

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sts copy

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Hi y’all!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on the blog. Welcome, if you’re new! And how do you like the new look, if you’ve been hanging around for a while? I’ve been wanting to get back into blogging since graduation, but the beginning of June was a whirlwind of activity. When I finally had some time to sit at my computer and start blogging again, I just wasn’t feeling it. This didn’t make any sense, since I had been dying to reconnect with the book blogging community. It finally dawned on me that I needed a new start and thus a new look. I hoe y’all like the new design!

I started off July in the best way possible with a visit to Half Price Books. One of my friends mentioned that she had sold all her ACT, SAT, and AP prep books to Half Price Books, so I filled my big Ikea bag will all those old prep books that I no longer needed. I ended up getting $25! After selling my high school burdens, I searched the store for some books. And I’m very happy with my finds!



A Court of mist and fury by sarah j. maas

The last star by rick yancey

the unexpected everything by morgan matson

the throne of fire by rick riordan

the hidden oracle by rick riordan

rebel of the sands by alwyn hamilton (signed copy)

queen of hearts by colleen oakes

the geek’s guide to unrequited love by sarvenaz tash


what book should i read first?

Happy early 4th of july!

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Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins | Book Review

 RATING: Stephanie Perkins has done it again! (4/5) // AMAZON

Pages: 339 pages | Publisher: Dutton

Format: Hardcover | Source: Bought Age Group: Young Adult


Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

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Cover ThoughtsI absolutely adore the cover of Isla and the Happily Ever After. I love the color scheme, the white font, and the city landscape in the background. The whole aesthetic of the cover is on point!

Stephanie Perkins is a queen of contemporaries. Without a doubt, she was the first author who got me obsessed with contemporaries, so imagine my surprise when I realized that JOSH was that Josh from Anna and the French Kiss. (You know, the Josh who was Etienne’s friend and dating Rashmi?!?) I don’t know why, but I never got that memo until I started reading the book. Thus my already extremely high excitement doubled afterwards.

Isla was a new character and I found her to be very likable. I think many people will be able to relate with her. Isla isn’t exactly passionate about one thing. She has a lot of interests, but hasn’t found that one thing that sparks a fire in her, like art does for Josh. To be honest, most high schoolers and college students completely understand this issue. Somehow we’re supposed to have an idea of what we want to do for the rest of our lives when we enter and leave college. I’m a senior in high school and I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life because of the endless possibilities. Not only is Isla going through a very relatable time in her life, but her personality is weirdly charming. We’re all a little awkward, so although you cringed a little at Isla’s awkwardness it was hilarious and adorable at the same time.

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2016 Blogging Goals

2016 blogging goals

It’s a new year! 2016! Can you believe it? I can’t. I remember freshman year thinking about how far away 2016 seemed… Now it’s finally arrived. 2016. A new year. My graduation year. It’s going to be a very exciting year and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. To help make 2016 reach it’s maximum amount of awesomeness I’ve made a list of some blogging goals I have for the new year.

1. Make more time for reading

In the past year, I’ve found myself reaching for Netflix or my bed instead of a book. For some reason it just became easier to lie in bed watching Netflix or sleeping. Maybe it had to do with the stress of school or my major lack of sleep or my laziness. I’m not quite sure, but I can’t believe I let it happen. I love to read. I love meeting new characters and escaping into unknown worlds and experiencing the impossible. It’s one of my favorite things to do, so my priority for this new year is to make more time for reading!

2. Be a more consistent blogger

This has always been a struggle for me. Sometimes life just happens, or in my case a lot of the time. Basically I’ve found it to be extremely challenging to balance blogging with school and sports and friends and sleep. But this is the year where I get my act together!

3. Get more involved in the book community

This probably has to do with my inconsistency with blogging. Although I know a few bloggers, I’d like to get to know them even better and meet more people in the book community. It’s such a wonderful community and I feel like I’ve only dipped my toes in.

4. Write more discussion posts

Personally I love reading these types of posts, but for whatever reason I don’t really have a lot of them on my blog. WHY???? I need to fix this ASAP because honestly they’re so much fun to read and I feel like I’m missing out.

Comment down below!

What are your blogging goals for 2016?

Thanks for reading Vivalabooks!

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